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A COUNTERNARRATIVE OF SHARED AMBIVALENCE: Some Muslim and Western Perspectives on Science and Reason

A COUNTERNARRATIVE OF SHARED AMBIVALENCE: Some Muslim and Western Perspectives on Science and Reason Page 50 A COUNTERNARRATIVE OF SHARED AMBIVALENCE Some Muslim and Western Perspectives on Science and Reason Roxanne L. Euben The opposition of science to religion—like the correlative binaries of reason and revelation, rationality and irrationality — is central to the way in which the West has organized its intellectual history.1 Such oppositions instantiate the claim that the advance of science and the scientific method at once presupposes and demonstrates the illegitimacy of metaphysical sources of knowledge about the natural and social worlds. Implicit in these developments is the promise of mastery — of control, not just over recalcitrant facts and things, but also over human suffering — through the application of scientific and technical solutions. The progress of science and the evolution of Western history toward an ever better quality of life are by this means rendered mutually constitutive. The culmination of this process is a modernity defined by what Bruno Latour terms a “double asymmetry”: “It designates,” he writes, “a break in the regular passage of time, 1. Categories such as “the West” and “Islam” are at once useful and problematic. They provide a way to grasp and order unwieldy terrain but do so either by attaching http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Common Knowledge Duke University Press

A COUNTERNARRATIVE OF SHARED AMBIVALENCE: Some Muslim and Western Perspectives on Science and Reason

Common Knowledge , Volume 9 (1) – Jan 1, 2003

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2003 by Duke University Press
ISSN
0961-754X
eISSN
1538-4578
DOI
10.1215/0961754X-9-1-50
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Page 50 A COUNTERNARRATIVE OF SHARED AMBIVALENCE Some Muslim and Western Perspectives on Science and Reason Roxanne L. Euben The opposition of science to religion—like the correlative binaries of reason and revelation, rationality and irrationality — is central to the way in which the West has organized its intellectual history.1 Such oppositions instantiate the claim that the advance of science and the scientific method at once presupposes and demonstrates the illegitimacy of metaphysical sources of knowledge about the natural and social worlds. Implicit in these developments is the promise of mastery — of control, not just over recalcitrant facts and things, but also over human suffering — through the application of scientific and technical solutions. The progress of science and the evolution of Western history toward an ever better quality of life are by this means rendered mutually constitutive. The culmination of this process is a modernity defined by what Bruno Latour terms a “double asymmetry”: “It designates,” he writes, “a break in the regular passage of time, 1. Categories such as “the West” and “Islam” are at once useful and problematic. They provide a way to grasp and order unwieldy terrain but do so either by attaching

Journal

Common KnowledgeDuke University Press

Published: Jan 1, 2003

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